Marko Branica was educated at the University of Zagreb, where he received his PhD in chemistry in 1963. He spent his entire career at the Rudjer Boskovic Institute in Zagreb, where he was one of the co-founders of the Center for Marine and Environmental Research, established in the early '70s. During this period Marko also conceived and launched an interdisciplinary postgraduate course in Oceanography, which eventually led more than 200 students to graduate with an MSc degree in Oceanography. Under the aegis of CIESM, Marko Branica convened a series of International Symposia entitled "Chemistry of the Mediterranean". Starting in 1970, fourteen conferences were held in Croatia, attracting numerous members of various CIESM committees who returned regularly. These meetings came to be regarded as "summer schools of chemical oceanography". Indeed several special volumes of the journal Marine Chemistry devoted to the conference and featuring benchmark papers were published.
As a scientist, Marko was a pioneer in the application of electrochemical methods in marine research, especially to the analysis and speciation of trace elements in various compartments of the marine environment. His research was widely recognized by the international scientific community, and he received the 1992 Heineken Prize for the Environment, awarded by the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Marko left a distinct mark on most of the things he did in science and life. He will be missed by numerous friends in various corners of the Mediterranean Sea and much beyond.
(by Goran Kniewald and Frédéric Briand)